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Dec. 26, 2012 at 6:00 AM
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Homeless man found on drifting ferry

BOSTON, Dec. 26 (UPI) -- After a fire boat corraled a drifting ferry Christmas morning in Boston Harbor, an apparently homeless man was found on board, police said.

Investigators believe the man had let the 100-foot vessel loose, WHDH-TV reported.

"The individual must have set the boat free," Fire Capt. Steve Waldron said.

"It was tied up to the pier and secured. Looks like he went through a lot of trouble to unhitch the lines and let it drift."

The man could face criminal charges. But police took him to Massachusetts General Hospital for examination.

Waldron said the ferry drifted about 400 yards in an area where sailboats and yachts were anchored and could have done a lot of damage. An onlooker in East Boston noticed the vessel was moving slowly on an erratic course and alerted police.

No injuries or serious damage to other boats or the ferry was reported.

Gaudy Christmas sweaters make a comeback

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 25 (UPI) -- Retailers including boutique chain Kitson, based in Los Angeles, said ugly Christmas sweaters have made a comeback as ironic duds for younger generations.

Fraser Ross, owner of Kitson, said ugly Christmas sweater parties are filling the holiday void once occupied by tree trimming parties, as people in their 20s and 30s embrace the garishly decorated garments as humorous ways to celebrate the season, the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday.

"It's the new theme for hostesses who are trying to bring the mostest to holiday parties," he said. "It's like having a Halloween party during Christmas."

Evan Mendelsohn, co-founder of San Diego clothing brand Tipsy Elves, said ugly Christmas sweaters -- including playful depictions of conga-dancing reindeer, and Santa spelling "Merry Christmas" in the snow with his urine -- are proving to be holiday bestsellers.

"The majority of people buying are in their 20s or 30s who are sort of making light of what can be a serious holiday. It gives them an excuse to wear something funny," Mendelsohn said. "It's not going to die like a normal fashion trend."

Carin Agiman, owner of Berkeley, Calif., clothing label GeltFiend, said he launched a line of Hanukkah equivalents for the ugly Christmas sweaters to let Jewish revelers get in on the fun.

His brand includes a sweater picturing Hasidic snowmen and a dreidel cardigan.

"I have a lot of non-Jewish friends, so I get invited to a lot of ugly Christmas sweater parties," Agiman said. "There's been a lot of pent-up Jewish angst over not having some equivalent ugliness."

Judge decides not to block pizzeria

NEW YORK, Dec. 25 (UPI) -- A New York judge ruled in favor of an entrepreneur seeking open a restaurant next to the pizzeria he sold in 1998.

Frank Ciolli, who purchased Grimaldi's Pizza in 1998, filed a lawsuit against former owner Patsy Grimaldi, alleging the restaurant founder violated a non-compete clause by coming out of retirement to open Juliana's Pizza next door to his former eatery, the New York Daily News reported Tuesday.

Queens County Supreme Court Justice Augustus Agate decided not to grant a temporary injunction to block the opening of Juliana's, calling the new eatery "healthy competition" for Grimaldi's.

"There's no proof that (Grimaldi) took any steps to actively solicit any of the plaintiff's customers," he said in the Dec. 19 decision.

Ciolli, who paid $500,000 for the Grimaldi's Pizza name, said he still hopes to take his case to trial.

"We'll have our day in court," he said.

Grimaldi was not immediately available for comment, the Daily News said.

Customer claims complaint drew threat

MELBOURNE, Dec. 25 (UPI) -- An Australian man said delivery company Allied Express threatened him with legal action for complaining about poor service.

Tom Morley said he employed the company when he moved to Melbourne this month and was "ignored and hung up on" by customer service staff when he called to report it had been two weeks and his packages still had not arrived, The (Brisbane) Courier-Mail reported Tuesday.

Morley said he sent an email directly to the head of the company, multimillionaire Colin McDowell, saying he would contact fair trading authorities if the situation was not resolved.

McDowell replied Monday, blaming Morley for the problems with the delivery.

"We don't want you threatening us," the email states. "Did you secure the connote (consignment note) to the item? If you did not and it came off, how do we track and find it ... and then you blame us."

A second email soon arrived saying the packages had been found in Melbourne without a consignment note.

"So the problem was always yours, we expect an apology but undoubtedly won't get it," the email said. "Maybe we will report to our legal advisers for threatening behavior."

Allied Express declined to comment, the Courier-Mail said.

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